Fair season is upon us and with it comes the image of the midway rides and games, animals and crafts and, of course, the delicious, albeit not so healthy, fair food.This weekend is a fair that's slightly different. The Common Ground Fair in Unity is set to kick off Friday Sept. 22 and run through the weekend. Hosted by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, The Common Ground Fair is a celebration of rural living.

While the Common Ground Fair includes forestry, farming and live entertainment like a traditional fair, it also includes many events that one can only find at a venue of this nature including an exhibit on acupuncture for your dairy herd, indoor mushroom growing, organic ocean gardening, as well as goat milking and goat cheese making demonstrations. There's a musical class on how to play the spoons and lectures on building solar farms and, for those who have always wanted to become a Registered Maine Guide, there's a Q & A on that as well.  Beekeeping, homesteading, cooking demonstrations, medicinal herb lectures and demonstrations as well as public policy speakers and forums. 

For those that like to participate in fair games, there's the Harry S. Truman games at 10AM and 2PM on Saturday and Sunday. I sh*t you not, this is a game of manure pitching.

It's fun for all ages, but those ages are categorized into three classes: 12 and under; 13 to 17; and 18 and over.  While some of us are no amateurs at shooting the bull, they make it slightly more challenging by also including a distance toss at 9:30AM and the 25-pound accuracy pitch at 1:30PM.

Want to bond with the animals? There's Small's Dairy Farm presenting Goats as Therapy Animals on Saturday at 12:30 followed by Getting Up Close with Cattle at 1PM with Faithful Venture Farm from Searsmont. Dave Kennard will be there with his border collies giving sheep dog demonstration.  This is in addition to the more tradition oxen pulls and draft horses one might find at the other county fairs.

As for music, the Common Ground Fair has that covered with bands such as SugarBush, Muddy Ruckus, and the Ale House String Band as well as Contradance, Inanna-Sisters in Rhythm and Jimmyjo the jumbolayuhs with their brand of Cajun music. and closing out the fair on Sunday is Happytown

If you're thinking that it sounds a little too "all natural" for you, If you aren't planning on growing mushroom inside or looking to tend to your fields with human-powered farm machinery fear not, they also have exhibits on micro-brewing, cooking for the Maine family, artisans displays and hands on demonstrations. For those like me with no natural talent for things domestic, there will be many ready made crafts and foods for purchase.

Find out more at the Common Ground Fair website.



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